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How does the electrical system work?


ArtistsView
 

This is embarrassing, but here goes... I was attempting to explain how the View electrical system works and realized I don't really understand how the power is routed. What I mean is that when we are plugged into shore power how do the converter/charger and inverter come into play? Then when on battery power what happens? I know this is a lot to ask, but it might be of value to others. Thanks in advance to anyone that would like to explain the basics!

Steve
2017 J


Bob
 

Let me try to provide a simple explanation.

Everything you can run off the coach batteries when not plugged in still runs off the batteries when you are plugged in. The difference is the converter is using 120 AC volts and changing it to 12 DV volts in order to charge the batteries as you are consuming the battery charge.

Items on some models like 120 volt TV’s
Will not run off the 12 volt DC coach batteries. They will run off shore power or the generator. Later models have a inverter. The inverter is the opposite of a converter. The inverter uses 12 volts DC  to make 120 volts AC so 120 volt TV’s and small appliances can run off the batteries.

You need high capacity batteries and a big inverter to run high power items like the Microwave. Many do not have this capability unless they have invested in lithium batteries and big inverters.

Hopefully others can simplify this for you too.

Bob 18G

On Oct 22, 2020, at 20:21, ArtistsView <sjbendy@...> wrote:

This is embarrassing, but here goes... I was attempting to explain how the View electrical system works and realized I don't really understand how the power is routed. What I mean is that when we are plugged into shore power how do the converter/charger and inverter come into play? Then when on battery power what happens? I know this is a lot to ask, but it might be of value to others. Thanks in advance to anyone that would like to explain the basics!

Steve
2017 J


David J
 

Steve, the only embarrassing question should be the one you didn't ask. Adding to Bob's answer...

There are three separate electrical systems in an RV, two of them 12 volt DC and one 120 volt AC. When you are boondocking they are usually not interconnected at all. One 12 volt system is the truck or chassis system, that powers the engine including its starter and has a battery that's charged by the engine. The other 12 volt system is the house system, which has a somewhat larger battery and powers the ceiling lights, vent fans, water pump, refrigerator logic, alarms and many other small loads. These all draw power from the house battery, which is charged by the engine when you're driving and by the converter/charger when you're plugged in. Third, the 120 volt AC system powers the air conditioner, microwave, and whatever else you have plugged in to the AC outlets. As previously mentioned, the converter/charger takes power from the 120 volt system, converts it to DC and charges the battery in the house DC system. Until about 20 years ago this is all there ever was, commonly. Now we have inverters, that (only when not plugged in to ground power!) take power from the 12 volt house system and convert it to 120 volt AC to power some or all of the 120 volt loads. And then we have solar, which usually just helps charge the 12 volt house system. There are other special cases too, for instance if the truck battery is dead you can operate the "start boost" switch which sends power from the house system to the truck system to help start the engine. Sometimes, a smart charger/inverter is used which figures our what role it needs to play depending on whether you are connected to ground power or not. Normally the converter is in operation when you are plugged in to ground power, and the inverter when you are not. (Boat people call it shore power, airplane people call it ground power ;)) The generator just substitutes for ground power when you start it.


"sailorbobc30@gmail.com
 

One additional comment on the inverter.  The electrical receptacles (outlets) in many View/Navions are split into two branches.  To the confusion of many new owners, the inverter only feeds 120 V AV to one of the branches while shore power feeds 120 V AC to both branches.  This means when using the inverter, only some of the outlets will work.  Which outlets work on the inverter varies with model.  Can be determined from Winnebago circuit drawings or simply by experimenting.

Bob
2016 View V, Colorado

On Oct 22, 2020, at 11:27 PM, David J <dlj04@...> wrote:

Steve, the only embarrassing question should be the one you didn't ask. Adding to Bob's answer...

There are three separate electrical systems in an RV, two of them 12 volt DC and one 120 volt AC. When you are boondocking they are usually not interconnected at all. One 12 volt system is the truck or chassis system, that powers the engine including its starter and has a battery that's charged by the engine. The other 12 volt system is the house system, which has a somewhat larger battery and powers the ceiling lights, vent fans, water pump, refrigerator logic, alarms and many other small loads. These all draw power from the house battery, which is charged by the engine when you're driving and by the converter/charger when you're plugged in. Third, the 120 volt AC system powers the air conditioner, microwave, and whatever else you have plugged in to the AC outlets. As previously mentioned, the converter/charger takes power from the 120 volt system, converts it to DC and charges the battery in the house DC system. Until about 20 years ago this is all there ever was, commonly. Now we have inverters, that (only when not plugged in to ground power!) take power from the 12 volt house system and convert it to 120 volt AC to power some or all of the 120 volt loads. And then we have solar, which usually just helps charge the 12 volt house system. There are other special cases too, for instance if the truck battery is dead you can operate the "start boost" switch which sends power from the house system to the truck system to help start the engine. Sometimes, a smart charger/inverter is used which figures our what role it needs to play depending on whether you are connected to ground power or not. Normally the converter is in operation when you are plugged in to ground power, and the inverter when you are not. (Boat people call it shore power, airplane people call it ground power ;)) The generator just substitutes for ground power when you start it.


Matt Praz
 

Just an FYI, the 2020 and newer units have BOTH circuits powered by the inverter which is a 2000 watt unit. If memory serves me earlier model only have a 1000 watt inverter, probably why they limit it to one circuit.

 

Matt Prazenka

20ND

2016 Subaru Crosstrek Toad

Highland Park, IL

 

From: discussion@view-naviontech.groups.io <discussion@view-naviontech.groups.io> On Behalf Of "sailorbobc30@...
Sent: Friday, October 23, 2020 10:11 AM
To: discussion@view-naviontech.groups.io
Subject: Re: [view-naviontech] How does the electrical system work?

 

One additional comment on the inverter.  The electrical receptacles (outlets) in many View/Navions are split into two branches.  To the confusion of many new owners, the inverter only feeds 120 V AV to one of the branches while shore power feeds 120 V AC to both branches.  This means when using the inverter, only some of the outlets will work.  Which outlets work on the inverter varies with model.  Can be determined from Winnebago circuit drawings or simply by experimenting.

 

Bob

2016 View V, Colorado



On Oct 22, 2020, at 11:27 PM, David J <dlj04@...> wrote:

 

Steve, the only embarrassing question should be the one you didn't ask. Adding to Bob's answer...

There are three separate electrical systems in an RV, two of them 12 volt DC and one 120 volt AC. When you are boondocking they are usually not interconnected at all. One 12 volt system is the truck or chassis system, that powers the engine including its starter and has a battery that's charged by the engine. The other 12 volt system is the house system, which has a somewhat larger battery and powers the ceiling lights, vent fans, water pump, refrigerator logic, alarms and many other small loads. These all draw power from the house battery, which is charged by the engine when you're driving and by the converter/charger when you're plugged in. Third, the 120 volt AC system powers the air conditioner, microwave, and whatever else you have plugged in to the AC outlets. As previously mentioned, the converter/charger takes power from the 120 volt system, converts it to DC and charges the battery in the house DC system. Until about 20 years ago this is all there ever was, commonly. Now we have inverters, that (only when not plugged in to ground power!) take power from the 12 volt house system and convert it to 120 volt AC to power some or all of the 120 volt loads. And then we have solar, which usually just helps charge the 12 volt house system. There are other special cases too, for instance if the truck battery is dead you can operate the "start boost" switch which sends power from the house system to the truck system to help start the engine. Sometimes, a smart charger/inverter is used which figures our what role it needs to play depending on whether you are connected to ground power or not. Normally the converter is in operation when you are plugged in to ground power, and the inverter when you are not. (Boat people call it shore power, airplane people call it ground power ;)) The generator just substitutes for ground power when you start it.

 


old_b4_my_time
 

Also if you are a conservationist, "voluntarily" deemed-so with a commitment to support the environment or "forced into it" due to being a boon-docker (off-grid aficionado) and from that you are trying to save power, try to stay away from using the inverter if possible.   If you use any appliances which will also run of direct current (DC) such as smart-phones, tablets or laptops, and if there is a 12V accessory available to keep them charged, always go with that as a charging method when in the RV rather than relying on the "in house familiar" 120VAC adapter/charger. 

In other words many people buy a new RV and once they see it has an inverter, they believe "hey, I'll just tote all my home appliances out to the RV and use them there".   Well this works in campgrounds where you are constantly connected to a power pole (or don't mind the roar of you generator continuously) but it doesn't work for dry-camping or where you plan to boon-dock or run exclusively off battery power because one finds out quickly that an inverter can waste up to 20% of the available energy plus it has a constant drain to some level even when the appliance is turned off or the batteries reach full charge and the inverter is still humming away.   Some will for example bring along on their RV adventure, a 120VAC phone, a tablet or laptop charger and with that they will be adding a significant loss of power due to conversion from both the inverter when raising the 12VDC to 120VAC and then also adding the loss from the wall adapter wasting energy while dropping the voltage from 120VAC back to the standard charging voltage of 5VDC.    Had they instead plugged in a 12VDC to 5VDC adapter into a lighter style outlet, they would have saved a lot of energy because the inverter would not be needed and the phone, tablet, headphones, bluetooth this or that would be charged directly from the battery without ever powering on the inverter.

--
Don - 2006 Navion J


ArtistsView
 

Thanks everyone... this is starting to make sense. One of the things that has puzzled me was why the inverter fan would run when we have the switch "off" above the fridge. I have only used the inverter once to see if it worked. Would love to be able to disable it so I don't have to hear that fan run. Probably missing something though.

Steve
2017 J


Bob
 

Some of the newer inverters are called pass through. The shore power passes through the inverter to the outlets the inverter powers. 

The inverter see’s the shore power. Some have relays to connect the shore power cord to the inverter in order to pass through the 120 volt shore power. 

When not on shore power and the inverter is running on battery, the relay drops disconnecting the shore power cord from the inverter created 120 volt power. This prevents the shore power plug from being “hot” with 120 volts.
A safety issue.

So the inverter logic board is active when connected to shore power.
The logic board has a thermal sensor that runs the fan anytime the logic board reaches a temperature that requires cooling.

Thus you will hear the inverter fan running intermittently while connected to a shore power or generator power source.

With the generator running you probably won’t notice the inverter fan.

Bob 18G

On Oct 23, 2020, at 12:40, ArtistsView <sjbendy@...> wrote:

Thanks everyone... this is starting to make sense. One of the things that has puzzled me was why the inverter fan would run when we have the switch "off" above the fridge. I have only used the inverter once to see if it worked. Would love to be able to disable it so I don't have to hear that fan run. Probably missing something though.

Steve
2017 J


old_b4_my_time
 

This represents the older style of V/N with non-pass-through inverter wiring.   I took this diagram from Google archives of a website no longer in service and modified it to reflect the wiring of our coaches before the pass-through inverter came into being ....

My marks with the red along with the yellow of the 110VAC are my own changes, plus I removed a transfer unit (with photoshop) that we don't have in ours (other than arguably the built-in transfer unit that is inside the inverter on the absolute newest models)


--
Don - 2006 Navion J


ArtistsView
 

Don,

Yowza! Nothing like an info-graphic to shed light on it all. Thanks so much! I am sure I will have more questions, but this is something that should be in every Winnebago manual.

Steve


old_b4_my_time
 

On Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 09:40 AM, ArtistsView wrote:
that has puzzled me was why the inverter fan would run
Is that the converter fan running instead of the inverter?   It is on a heat sensor when the converter fan is running which in effect is the battery charger and the more power you use the more it runs to cool the device.    My converter is right below my fridge and runs all throughout the time I am connected to a power pole or when the generator is running.   I'd say it runs about 30% of the time but the load on the batteries would determine the power cycle times needed to cool the battery charging device (converter).
 
--
Don - 2006 Navion J


ArtistsView
 

The fan that is running is from the Xantrex XM1000 inverter, which on my 2017 J is in an outside storage compartment on the passenger side behind the entry steps. The Progressive Dynamics PD9245 converter is under the bed. The fan on that will run at times but is not as loud.

Steve
2017 J


Lisa Harris
 

Thank you Don for the graphic explanation.  This makes the electrical system so much clearer.
Lisa Harris 2011 Navion K, Tallahassee FL.

On Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 1:24 PM old_b4_my_time <donphillipe@...> wrote:
This represents the older style of V/N with non-pass-through inverter wiring.   I took this diagram from Google archives of a website no longer in service and modified it to reflect the wiring of our coaches before the pass-through inverter came into being ....

My marks with the red along with the yellow of the 110VAC are my own changes, plus I removed a transfer unit (with photoshop) that we don't have in ours (other than arguably the built-in transfer unit that is inside the inverter on the absolute newest models)


--
Don - 2006 Navion J


waydigs
 

I am no expert, but I think the diagram should have shown Two battery systems / sets, one for starting/chassis and one (or two)  for the house.  They operate differently depending on what is going on.   For the most part, they operate independently except when being charged or being used as a starting booster.
Wayne '16 V in Ca,


old_b4_my_time
 

On Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 07:30 PM, waydigs wrote:
the diagram should have shown
Yes this diagram is at a very high and over-simplified level.   The most detail will actually be found in the schematics which can be downloaded from the Winnebago website combined with various information gathered from the Sprinter service manual (can be found free most times with extensive Internet search in PDF form) combined with dissertations from various tech gurus around the various forums such as Sprinter-Source(dot)com.

The alternator regulator output terminal is actually connected directly to the engine (chassis) battery and along with what is effectively an "electronic jumper cable" which can be enabled that connects the engine (chassis) battery directly to the house (leisure) battery and that is a "virtual" jumper-cable type action that's accomplished electronically via the  often referred to "boost solenoid" and that device is engaged when the engine is running and thus effectively routes the charging voltage/current from the alternator to the house battery "virtually" as is illustrated in the over-simplified diagram.  Imagine a tiny but very strong mouse (anyone remember cartoon "Mighty Mouse"?) working under the seat and this mouse has a big set of jumper cables that he uses to connect up the two sets of batteries together when either a) the engine is running or b) when the engine is not running and someone presses the "boost" button.
 
--
Don - 2006 Navion J